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Sunday, July 21, 2019

Ben Roethlisberger

Mike Tomlin, Ben Roethlisberger try to clarify bizarre injury situation

Ben Roethlisberger

Ben Roethlisberger suffered a rib injury in Sunday’s game against the Oakland Raiders and was eventually able to return, but there has been a great deal of confusion about why it took so long for Mike Tomlin to put him back in. The coach and quarterback tried to answer some of those questions on Tuesday.

Apparently, one of the reasons Roethlisberger stood on the sideline for so long seemingly ready to go was that the Steelers were waiting on results from outdated X-ray machines in Oakland.

Tomlin said he continued to communicate with Roethlisberger about the “effectiveness of pain medication” he was given, which likely means the Steelers were waiting for a pain shot to kick in. The coach stressed that the team was trying to make the best decision possible with the information available at the time.

Roethlisberger appeared to suffer the injury in the first half but remained in the game until halftime. Backup quarterback Josh Dobbs came out to start the second half, and the Steelers went punt, turnover on downs, interception, and punt on his first four possessions. After the Raiders took a 17-14 lead, Roethlisberger finally returned to the game and led Pittsburgh on a touchdown drive to put them up 21-17. They eventually lost 24-21 after kicker Chris Boswell slipped and fell on what would have been a game-tying field goal attempt.

Tomlin gave a much different reason on Sunday for why Roethlisberger was held out so long, and that is why reporters were still asking about it on Tuesday. From the sound of it, the Steelers were simply unsure of the exact extent of Big Ben’s injury but decided to take his word for it and put him back in when they realized they were not going to be able to win with Dobbs.

Why did Mike Tomlin hold Ben Roethlisberger out of game so long?

Mike Tomlin

Why did Mike Tomlin hold Ben Roethlisberger out of Sunday’s game against the Oakland Raiders for so long after his rib injury? That is a big question the Pittsburgh Steelers should be answering all week.

Roethlisberger did not come out to play after halftime with his Steelers up 14-10 at Oakland on Sunday. The Steelers said Roethlisberger had a rib injury and was questionable to return. Backup quarterback Josh Dobbs took over and went punt, turnover on downs, interception, and punt on his first four possessions, which spilled into the fourth quarter.

Then the Raiders got the ball at the 27 following a punt early in the fourth. Oakland went on a 14-play, 73-yard touchdown drive that took up nearly 8 minutes and gave the Raiders a 17-14 lead.

Finally after his team was down, Roethlisberger returned to the game with just over five minutes to go in the fourth. He promptly led the Steelers on a touchdown drive to take a 21-17 lead with just under three minutes to go. Pittsburgh ended up allowing a Raiders touchdown, and then kicker Chris Boswell slipped and fell on what would have been a game-tying attempt. Pittsburgh lost 24-21 to fall to 7-5-1, putting their playoff hopes in jeopardy.

After the game, Tomlin gave a head-scratching quote. He told the media that Roethlisberger “probably could have come in a series or so sooner” but did not because of the “rhythm and flow of the game.”

What the heck does that mean? Does that mean Tomlin was hoping Dobbs could lead the team to victory without having to push Roethlisberger back into action? Does that mean Roethlisberger did not feel ready to return earlier? Did Tomlin want to give Dobbs more chances to see what he could do?

The Steelers’ offense looked ineffective without Roethlisberger. He should have been put back in the game as soon as he was ready. This sounds somewhat like a baseball manager who leaves a reliever in longer than he should to try and steal outs rather than put their closer in for a long save.

The whole situation was badly mismanaged based on the information given to us by Tomlin. He and the team will have a lot of questions to answer, especially with their playoff looking shakier.

Ben Roethlisberger leaves game with rib injury

Ben Roethlisberger

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger suffered an injury during Sunday’s game against the Oakland Raiders, and it appeared to come when he took a big hit in the first half.

Roethlisberger was hit hard on a sack by Raiders defensive tackle Clinton McDonald with 5:15 remaining in the second quarter. He was slow to get up, but he stayed in the game and led Steelers to a touchdown drive before the half. However, he was replaced by Joshua Dobbs to start the second half and the team announced he had a rib injury.

It’s unclear if the hit from McDonald was the play that caused the injury, though his left shoulder and head area hit the turf pretty hard.

Roethlisberger has dealt with a number of minor injuries this season, but he typically plays through them. The Steelers were leading 14-10 at the time Dobbs took over.

UPDATE: Roethlisberger returned to the game after missing just one offensive series in the second half.

Twitter reacts to Ben Roethlisberger’s interception to lose game

Ben Roethlisberger

For the second year in a row, Ben Roethlisberger threw an interception in the end zone to lose a close game against a tough opponent.

Last year in December, Big Ben was picked off on a tipped ball in the end zone to lose 27-24 to the New England Patriots. This year, he was intercepted in the end zone on a Tim Tebow-type fake run play on third-and-goal in Denver.

The Pittsburgh Steelers were down 24-17 with just over a minute to go and Roethlisberger was intercepted in the end zone by Shelby Harris. Here were the Twitter reactions to the mind-boggling play.

Pittsburgh is now 7-3-1 while Denver is 5-6 on the season.

Ben Roethlisberger shares funny item on his son’s Christmas list

Ben Roethlisberger

James Conner had arguably his worst game of the season on Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars, but the Pittsburgh Steelers made it sting a little less by finding a way to win. Perhaps equally as important, the tough day did not impact the way Ben Roethlisberger’s son feels about Conner.

During his weekly radio show Tuesday, Roethlisberger was asked about a pair of drops from Conner, one of which came on fourth down and one that would have resulted in a touchdown in the fourth quarter. Big Ben said one of the ways he tried to cheer Conner up was by telling him his son still wants the running back’s jersey for Christmas.

“Even when you drop balls I got something to tell you. I said last night my son, he said for Christmas he wants a Steelers helmet, gloves and a James Conner jersey and I said obviously my son doesn’t have any hard feelings toward you so you shouldn’t have them toward yourself,” Roethlisberger said. “He had a good chuckle out of that.”

Conner ran for only 25 yards in addition to dropping two key passes, but the Steelers managed to pull out a 20-16 win. In hindsight, Roethlisberger thinks Conner’s dropped touchdown worked out great.

“I said hey, two things. One, if you would’ve got that and scored that would’ve gave them a lot more time and two, if you would’ve got that and scored I wouldn’t (have) been able to score a rushing touchdown so I appreciate it,” the quarterback joked.

Conner has made Steelers Nation forget all about Le’Veon Bell, and some stats would indicate the team is even better with him than it was with Bell. One bad game isn’t going to change that or Roethlisberger’s son’s Christmas list.

Ben Roethlisberger says Jaguars were talking trash during game

Ben Roethlisberger

Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers somehow pulled out the win against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday, which must have felt extra special for Big Ben for a few reasons.

The Steelers were eliminated by the Jags in the playoffs last season as they were looking ahead to the Patriots. Then on Sunday, they were down 16-0 late in the third quarter. Roethlisberger was not playing well. On top of all that, Roethlisberger says the Jags were talking trash.

“There was a lot of trash talking going on. I heard it a lot from some of those guys. 50, 20, 21 … all those guys. So it’s good to find a way to win in the end,” Roethlisberger told CBS after the game.

Roethlisberger was talking about Telvin Smith, Jalen Ramsey (of course) and AJ Bouye. The Jags are a big bunch of trash-talkers, but they have much less to boast about now that they’re 3-7 and have lost six in a row.

Ben Roethlisberger is done talking about Le’Veon Bell

Ben Roethlisberger

Now that Tuesday’s deadline has passed and Le’Veon Bell will officially have to sit out the entire 2018 season, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has no interest in talking about a player who will soon be his former teammate.

Roethlisberger said Wednesday that he texted Bell before the deadline on Tuesday telling him he hoped he was going to show up, and the star running back never replied. Now, Big Ben is done talking about the situation.

In some ways, it may help the Steelers that Bell is no longer eligible to play this season. At least the saga has now ended, and they won’t have to wonder if and when he’ll be showing up for work.

James Conner has been one of the best running backs in football during Bell’s absence, and that has made it a lot easier for the Steelers to adjust. Judging by what some Pittsburgh players said recently about Bell’s situation, they’re probably happy to know that Conner is the guy going forward.